How to keep your July 4th celebration safe and fun

Fireworks, flag flying, parades, and pool parties are all part of the tradition and fun associated with the Fourth of July. Partygoers, to avoid injuries, are urged to be cautious when taking part in any festivities.

Check out the following tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable holiday:

 
Grilling safety

Each year between 2014 and 2018, there were about 10,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbeques, and hospital emergency rooms treated about 19,700 people for burns involving grills. Improperly ventilated grills are also a common source of carbon monoxide poisoning. Safety begins with taking just a few precautions:

  • Always inspect your fuel line, burners, and igniter to make sure they are in good condition.
  • Set up your grill in an open area, away from buildings and combustible materials.
  • Make sure the propane gas bottle is not overfilled.
  • Keep the grill in the shade. The sun increases the pressure in the tank, which can lead to leaks.
  • Clean the grill on a regular basis to prevent grease fires.
  • Don't wear baggy clothing.
  • Keep children away from the grill.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

 
Fireworks safety

In 2020 U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 15,600 for fireworks-related injuries. Consider attending a professional fireworks display in your local area instead of conducting one of your own. But if you do use fireworks:

Attend a community fireworks display instead of having your own. But if you do use fireworks:

  • Always read and follow label directions.
  • Always read and follow label directions carefully.
  • Never light fireworks under the influence of alcohol or other judgement impairing substances.
  • Do not allow children to light fireworks.
  • Have water and a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Light fireworks one at a time.
  • Never aim, point, or throw fireworks at another person.

 
Swimming and water safety

Every year there is an estimated average of 3,960 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States, according to the CDC. Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children one through 14 years. While not all drownings are fatal, more than 40 percent of these incidents treated in emergency rooms require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared with 8 percent for all unintentional injuries).

Some safety advice:

  • Only swim in designated swimming areas.
  • Children and adults should never swim alone or without a lifeguard/observer, regardless of their swimming ability.
  • Swim with and near a buddy of equal swimming ability.
  • Don't swim in currents, waves, or water temperatures beyond your swimming abilities.
  • Restrict children's access to swimming pools with fences, gates, and doors. It is especially important to lock sliding glass doors from the house that lead to the swimming pool.
  • Never swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Intoxication is often a contributing cause of drowning.
  • Do not play breath-holding games for fun or to build lung capacity. They are dangerous and ineffective.

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